High-intensity interval training

Today’s 10 Minute Workout

A straight flight of stairs, somewhere in the ...

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I couldn’t find a link for this workout at Mark Lauren‘s website so I’m posting it here.

It’s a time challenge.

Only three exercises:

  1. Burpees +
  2. Mountain Climbers +
  3. Jump Lunges (A.K.A: Iron Mikes)
Complete 7 Rounds as fast as possible.
Round 1: Complete 5 Reps of each exercise (i.e. 5 Burpees + 5 MC + 5 Jump Lunges)
Round 2: Complete 10 Reps of each exercise (i.e. 10 Burpees + 10 MC +10 JL etc.)
Round 3: Complete 15 Reps of each exercise
Round 4: Complete 20 Reps of each exercise
Round 5: Complete 15 Reps of each exercise
Round 6: Complete 10 Reps of each exercise
Round 7: Complete 5 Reps of each exercise
My times:
2 August, 2010 –   Time  13 min :53 seconds
5 September, 2011 –  Time  10 min :31 seconds
For my warm-up:
Ran up + down my basement staircase 10 x (12 stairs).  (Up + Down = 1x)
Odd numbers I took the stairs by two’s.  Even numbers I took single steps.
1. by two’s
2. singles
3. by two’s
4. singles etc….up to 10.
Lunge style Hip flexor stretches, side bends, quads etc.
Did Mark Lauren’s workout, as I’ve come to call it.
Once finished it took a long time to get my breath back.  This was a super hard workout.  Walked around for quite some time breathing.
  • Cool down with 4 x 100 skips, still trying to bring my heart rate down gradually.
  • Cool down with 5 minutes on the stationary bike.
  • 5 Forward Grip Pull Ups
  • Full body stretches including rolling out ITB & TFL with foam roll.
Post-workout meal & lunch combined:
Romaine Salad with cherry tomatoes/ red peppers/ broccoli / my salad dressing
4 Slices of Roast Turkey (ingredients: roast turkey, salt –NOT processed)
1 leftover BBQ Sweet potato (fresh from last night) with a pat of unsalted butter.
12 oz. Water.

Which Workout Works?

The Tulip Stairs and lantern at the Queen's Ho...

Which Workout Works?

Rodan sent in this great article from last weekends’ The New York Times Magazine.  It is worth reading.


The article asks a range of exercise and sport physiologists to choose THE single best exercise.

Interestingly and really, not surprisingly the physiologists have very different views.

The short version is that all exercise has merit.  However, a strong argument is made for the overall effectiveness of interval training.  Short-Duration, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIT) is great for the time challenged.

The article goes on to say, that yes, “to be effective, HIT must hurt”.  I don’t want this to scare anyone off.  Everyone has a starting point.  Marching on the spot might ‘hurt’ for the absolute sedentary; ‘hurt’ is subjective.  What do they mean by hurt anyway? What I think they mean by ‘hurt’ is discomfort.  It means working hard and passing through the comfort zone to the point where you want to stop, but forcing yourself to finish the repetitions until the interval is over.  This is NOT to be confused with pushing through pain and losing technique just to score high repetitions.  There is a distinct difference between the discomfort caused by muscle fatigue and the pain caused from injury.

When we are consistent with exercise, our body naturally adapts and our ability to take on more increases.

It seems that what hurts the most is digging up the discipline to be consistent with exercising everyday.

Once you make the decision to try something different, I have got a little experiment for you: the stairs.  We all have to climb them and, like at the end of the article, one physiologist sings the praises of “running up steps”.

Find a staircase with approximately twelve steps.  But any number will do.

Make sure the staircase is straight and sturdy (no spirals), has a handrail and is not too steep.  Remember to go at a safe and comfortable pace. You may only climb the stairs once today, twice tomorrow and so on.  Listen to your body.

First, think about your body mechanics as you are climbing the steps.  Remember your feet and the arches.  Now go up the steps at a slow to moderate pace.  Trot back down.  Now go up the steps a little faster.  Trot back down.  Do this four more times.  Regardless of speed, the heart rate and body temperature will rise and breathing will quicken.

When finished, walk around until the heart rate and breathing slows down to normal.  Try it once a day for a week.

Leave me a comment.  I love hearing about your progress.




Global Warming & Climate Change

Change does not always happen right away.  For me it took a couple of weeks just contemplating these new Short- Duration High Intensity Interval Workouts, to then implementing a few concepts into my gym workouts.

It had been drilled into me that to be effective a traditional workout could only be done a certain way.  This new approach challenged everything I had studied and what had worked for me in the past.  Or rather, what I believed had worked.

I then started substituting a home workout for a gym workout, until all my workouts were done at home.  The elapsed time for this transition took about eight weeks.  It is amazing to me the amount of time I have saved.  And the results I have gained.

Note: Short-duration High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Tabatas are completely different from 4 Minute Mornings.